Rhode Island can have some really cold winters, and all of that ice and snow can make driving here dangerous. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, wintry weather conditions are involved in about half a million car accidents and over 2,000 fatalities each year. Many personal injury claims involve multi-vehicle collisions that happened on icy roads.
Stay safe while driving in the cold
When the weather is extra cold and there is a risk of a winter storm, you should never venture out in your car unprepared. Even if you’re only driving to the supermarket, always keep an emergency bag in your car. Your bag should have:
- Extra clothes
- Snacks and water
- Ice scraper
Hopefully, you’ll never actually need the contents of your bag. If you do get stuck in the snow, though, those blankets and other items could potentially save your life. You should also make sure that your gas tank is always at least half full and that your tires are properly inflated.
Driving tips for ice and snow
During the winter months, it’s important to limit your car trips as much as possible. Instead of shopping every other day at the supermarket, try filling up your car on a fair-weather day so that you can stay home the rest of the week. When you absolutely have to drive in winter weather, keep these tips in mind:
- Drive slower when there is a lot of snow and ice
- Adjust your speeds gradually and apply the brake firmly to avoid skidding
- As you approach a hill, try to get some inertia ahead of time so that you don’t have to apply extra gas while you’re on the hill
- Allow extra following distance behind other cars
If you get into an accident
If you’re involved in a car accident in the snow, it’s important that you don’t panic and walk away from your vehicle. When emergency services arrive, they’ll be able to find you more easily if you stayed with your car. Your car will also serve as a temporary shelter if there is a delay in getting help.